The Best Star Wars Books | What Should I Read First?



One of the most common questions we get is simply, “Where should I start?” Canon? Legends? Books? Graphic Novels?

There are literally hundreds of pieces of literature in the Star Wars expanded universe and we get it - it’s overwhelming.

Youtini has made it easier than ever to dive into the Star Wars expanded universe for the first time. Never read a Star Wars book? We’ve got ya covered.

We have put together a list of some of the best books to start with to get you started on your Star Wars book journey. And if you’re ready, this exact list is available in an exclusive monthly subscription. Check it out!

1. Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (Canon)

Technically a Young Adult book, this canon novel is not only one of the best of the new canon - it’s one of the best books in the Star Wars EU period. Romance, adventure, unbelievable tie-ins to the films, this books has it all. Taking place between 11 BBY (before the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV) and 5 ABY (after the Battle of Yavin) this book covers a lot of the timeline surrounding the films.

Buy Lost Stars at Amazon here.

2. Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (Legends)

Have you heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? Explore the origin story of one of the galaxy’s most powerful Sith and his apprentice… Emperor Palpatine. This book discusses some of the most profound explorations of the Force and is a must read for anyone fascinated by the Dark Side. This captivating Legends novel takes place between 67 and 32 BBY.

Buy Darth Plagueis at Amazon here.

3. Bloodline by Claudia Gray (Canon)

Another one of the best from the new Canon, this novel establishes many of the questions we all had about the state of the galaxy in the giant span of time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Written by Claudia Gray, the same author that wrote Lost Stars, this novel explores Princess Leia’s role in the New Republic and the early days of the Resistance against the First Order. This one takes place in 28 ABY.

Buy Bloodline at Amazon here.

4. The Thrawn Trilogy Book 1: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (Legends)

Grand Admiral Thrawn - unquestionably one of the coolest and baddest mofos in the EU. After the death of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, the Empire was in shambles and needed a leader to take the reigns. Thrawn was that man. Thrawn is also one of the first characters that Disney has brought from Legends to Canon by asking Timothy Zahn to reboot the character in a new series for the Canon universe (later in this list) as well as bringing him to animated life in the TV show Rebels. The Thrawn Trilogy is arguably the best series in the Legends EU and takes place in 9 ABY. It’s an absolute must read for any Star Wars fan.

Buy Heir to the Empire at Amazon here.

5. The Thrawn Trilogy Book 2: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (Legends)

Buy Dark Force Rising at Amazon here.


6. The Thrawn Trilogy Book 3: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn (Legends)

Buy The Last Command on Amazon here.






7. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno (Canon)

Did you love Rogue One as much as we did? This book explores the life of Galen Erso, father of Jyn Erso and scientist responsible for the kyber-based weapon system of the first Death Star. Taking place from 21-17 BBY, this book is an excellent companion to the film and leads right up to it.

Buy Catalyst: A Rogue One Story at Amazon here.









8. Thrawn by Timothy Zahn (Canon)

Taking place earlier than the original Thrawn Trilogy in 2 BBY, this canonized tale explores the origin story of everyone’s favorite character from the Legends EU, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Timothy Zahn has still got it and Disney really nailed it by asking him to come back. Plus, look at that cover! So sick.

Buy Thrawn at Amazon here.


9. Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp (Canon)

Ever wonder what would happen if Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine teamed up on a Dark Side kick-everyone’s-tail mission? This book is exactly that. Taking place in 14 BBY - not long after Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side - this book is an excellent stand alone novel that explores the master-apprentice relationship of Vader and Palpatine.

Buy Lords of the Sith at Amazon here.


10. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn (Legends)

“Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.” Darth Bane, the Sith that created “The Rule of Two,” is so freakin cool. This trilogy has it all - deep explorations of the Force, incredible displays of power, and a discussion of the Dark Side that is simply unchallenged in its epic-ness. This series takes place 1,003 BBY - 980 BBY, literally centuries before any of the films and establishes much of the lore discussed by the Jedi in the Prequels. Get ready folks, because this series is unbelievable.

Buy Darth Bane: Path of Destruction at Amazon here.


11. Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn (Legends)

Buy Darth Bane: Rule of Two at Amazon here.

12. Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn (Legends)

Buy Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil at Amazon here.

There you have it! The first twelve books that we at Youtini recommend you read first to get started on your Star Wars expanded universe journey!

Luckily, we have made getting started easier then ever. Get these exact books delivered right to your door every month, along with exclusive extras and a reading guide to make your reading experience one you will NEVER forget.

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